From Publishers Weekly
Torgovnick, who skipped all of her Durham, N.C., high school's mandatory pep rallies, decided at age 25 that cheerleaders are largely misunderstood and set about to illuminate the realities of the sport. Inspired by research she first did for a Jane
article about the rise of cheerleading injuries, she set out to cover the 2006–2007 season, from the tryouts to the national championship, following three highly ranked teams: the Stephen F. Austin University Lumberjacks, in Nacogdoches, Tex.; the Southern University Jaguars, in Baton Rouge, La.; and the University of Memphis All-Girl Tigers. One commonality she finds among the majority of the young women is the myopic obsession with appearance and thinness, particularly for flyers, who are lifted and thrown. Cheerleaders, she writes, are not a carrot-stick kind of crowd although an entire chapter is devoted to one woman's story of how an addiction to cocaine to lose weight resulted in accolades from her coach and teammates. Torgovnick has clearly done her homework, though important characters and major narratives are lost within scores of inconsequential details. (Mar.)
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"Fans of Bring It On
will find much to cheer about in Kate Torgovnick's meticulously reported account of the often-mocked but fascinating world of cheerleading." -- Entertainment Weekly
"Torgovnick has done an excellent job of reporting, bringing the reader into this world most of us would never see." -- USA Today
"A fist-pumping, Astroturf-banging tribute to the women and men who make up the in-world of competitive college cheerleading. It had me rooting from the edge of my seat for the final countdown of Nationals." -- NY Post
"An engaging, voyeuristic narrative that suggests college cheerleaders are as close to real-life superheroes as exist." -- Dallas Morning News
"One of the more successful pieces of narrative nonfiction this year, distinguished by Torgovnick's impeccable ear and canny, original choice of subject matter."-- Kirkus Reviews
"Kate Torgovnick's Cheer
! is the Friday Night Lights
of a new generation. Through her painstaking research, compassionate analysis, and uncanny eye for scenes, she offers us a window into the competitive subculture of college cheerleading the way Susan Orlean did for orchid hunters and Stefan Fatsis did for Scrabble players. Torgovnick is a journalist's journalist -- the kind of writer who gets the story and then has the good sense to get out of the way. We, the readers, can't help but revel in the world she's created, not only because it tells us something quintessential about America, but because it tells us something quintessential about ourselves."-- Courtney E. Martin, author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters
"Because Kate Torgovnick has captured every voice in this fascinating world verbatim, crack open the book to read just one sentence and you too will be instantly immersed in these characters' riveting ups and downs (pun intended)."-- Jane Pratt, founder of Jane
"An exuberant and empathic journey deep into one of America's least-explored and most iconic team sports -- and if you've never thought of cheerleading as a sport, accompanying [Torgovnick] on this ride through the physical challenges of a competitions season will certainly change your mind. Whether you tried out for the Pom squad yourself, or blew off every high school pep rally like Torgovnick did, this suspenseful tale of cheerleading's glorious and addictive highs, and dangerous and pressure-cooked lows, will give you an insight into an ever-growing national phenomenon."-- Lauren Sandler, Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.